UNESCO World Heritage town burns in Austria

UNESCO World Heritage town burns in Austria

UNESCO World Heritage town burns in Austria

A fire raged through several buildings in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed town of Hallstatt in Austria at around 3:30 am local time today. The town is a popular tourist destination in the country.

Authorities warned tourists not to visit the town in the aftermath of the blaze. The main road into the town was closed to avoid interference in the cleanup and investigation. Hallstatt is one of Austria’s most popular tourist destinations, with more than a million visitors each year, particularly from Asia. On some days, up to 10,000 people visit the town.

The fire quickly started in a wooden hut and quickly spread to a shed and 2 residential building leaving all heavily damaged. The town is built in a tight configuration, so adjacent houses were also damaged.

All residents were able to escape, but a firefighter was injured when he fell. Eight fire trucks and 109 firefighters tackled the blaze.

Less than 800 permanent residents live in Hallstatt which is nestled between mountains and water. The idyllic town is the site of the world’s oldest salt mine and has developed an international following for its picturesque half-timbered houses and idyllic setting.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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